Thursday, March 03, 2011
planting towards spring.
Oh March. I both love and dread seed starting. 10-12 weeks of hope and soil and light and care. I love the thought of what is to come, the life that springs up from tiny seeds, the smell of it all. I dread...I am not sure. The thought I might fail (no matter how many years I've been doing this). That they need care just as I want to run shrieking outside not to return until summer peaks with humidity and mosquitoes. But it isn't so much to ask when we get so much in return.
There is something about doing it yourself. There is that feeling you got when you were flipping pages in that pile of seed catalogs while a blizzard raged outside that makes you NEED to do it. To fulfill that dream and promise glimpsed when scribbling furiously into that notebook in January. And it is so much more satisfying on some primal level to pick a tomato from a plant grown from seed compared to something bought at the market in May. I don't know why, but it just is.
So, it starts. I have a hard time pacing myself. When I sit down in March with snow on the ground and I have a big stack of trays, a box of seeds and a huge bag of soil I want to PLANT IT ALL NOW! But seed starting requires continuous, um, control. I must start the right plants each week from now until June. It is wonderful to see it all grow. And it is so obvious in its progress - it is like a calendar of life building to spring and beyond. You may not see signs of spring outside, but you are banking on it coming, and soon.
I have my seed packets organized by start date in my little box. I have each packet marked with what week to start, and when to plant out. I have my lights hanging and I have my notebooks full of crazy ideas. I have two little boys who could care less about the yield or varieties but sure love to dig and water and poke the soil and help and watch it all grow.
When we started our first trays this week G said to me "Mom, it is like we are making spring come by planting inside when it is still winter!" I think he is right.